Stripes and a clown
Yesterday, in what I consider quite a coup, I was invited to brunch at the home of a neighbor. A coup in that getting to know one’s neighbors is not a given, and I was the only non-French person at the gathering. Speaking of French people, four of the nine guests wore stripes. And even cooler, or perhaps more surreally stereotypic, I sat next to a mime! A real live French mime! A French mime in a striped Marinière* à la Marcel Marceau! Pierre, the mime, actually introduced himself as a mime AND a clown. I didn’t ask him to do any miming or clowning but if there is a next time I will.
*On 27 March 1858 la Marinière became the official shirt of the French Navy. The French being particular about dress, uniforms in particular, meant that few details of la Marinière were left to chance:
“The body of the shirt will have 21** white stripes, each twice as wide as the 20-21 indigo stripes.
… the indigo stripes on the chest and back shall be ten millimeters wide and twenty millimeters apart.
… sleeves will have fourteen indigo stripes spaced twenty millimeters apart…. – http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marinière_(vêtement)
Supposedly the stripes made sailors easier to spot in the waves.
**One stripe for each of Napoleon’s victories.